Members of the Jan. 6 committee released their long-awaited final report late Thursday evening.
The 800-plus-page document clearly focused primarily on the actions and rhetoric of former President Donald Trump. Several chapters were titled with now infamous quotes from the ex-president, including his prediction that the protests in Washington would be “wild”.
Mr. Trump was referred by the committee to the Justice Department on four separate counts, including the panel’s most serious allegation: aiding or abetting an insurgency. Several members of his legal team were also named in the referrals for three other counts.
These included obstruction of official process, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and making a false statement to the United States government.
None of the committee’s referrals will have direct effect, as the Justice Department independently determines whether individuals will face criminal charges. However, the committee is known to cooperate closely with the DoJ as well as prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, in passing on the extensive evidence and testimony gathered during their thorough investigation. Both entities are conducting their own investigations with the potential for criminal charges against Mr. Trump and his legal team.
In particular, the committee’s report does not address questions of the preparation of the security forces before the attack; this issue was instead addressed by Republican members who were appointed to the committee and later declined to participate after two of them were denied membership due to being potential witnesses. In addition to the criminal referrals issued by the committee, lawmakers also issued multiple referrals of Republican members of Congress to the House Ethics Committee for dodging their subpoenas, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
The committee’s report, which comes after 18 months of investigative work into the violent attack on Congress, is 845 pages long. The summary of the report was released earlier this week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is leaving the Democratic leadership in the next Congress after the Republican takeover, praised the work of the select committee and its commitment to investigating the attack.
“The select committee charged with investigating the January 6 attack succeeded in bringing clarity and painstakingly demonstrating the fragility of our democracy,” Ms. Pelosi said in a preface to the report. “Above all, the work of the Special Committee underscores that our democratic institutions are only strong through the commitment of those who are in charge of them. As the select committee concludes its work, their words should be a clear call to all Americans: to vigilantly guard our democracy and give our vote only to those who are conscientious in their defense of our Constitution.
The release of the panel’s final report comes just hours after committee members released unpublished evidence showing how far members of Mr Trump’s orbit went to deter Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide. of 26 years, to testify honestly about the events before, during and after the riot attack on the Capitol.
Ms Hutchinson, who was a top aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows from mid-2020 until the end of Mr Trump’s term in 2021, said a lawyer who had represented her in her first appearances before the panel, Stefan Passantino, pressured her to testify in a way favorable to the ex-president and his allies by pushing her to say that she did not remember things that could have been detrimental to Mr. Trump, working to get him a job while his testimony was scheduled, and even relaying the substance of his testimony to the former president himself.
She also said that Mr. Passantino — who was a top ethics officer in the White House legal counsel’s office during the Trump era — told her the purpose of his panel appearances was to give the impression that she had been just a “secretary” despite her former status as a highly placed senior aide to Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s last White House chief of staff. The transcript of Ms. Hutchinson’s September 14 appearance before the committee largely deals with the time she was represented by Mr.’s efforts to keep her in the fold. This pressure against Ms Hutchinson has taken many forms, including dangling job offers at Trump-linked entities.
She told the panel that her attorney had promised she would be “taken care of” and not worry about finding work herself. In a conversation she recounted as taking place on March 1, Mr. Passantino told her, “We’re going to get you a really good job in Trump’s world” and discouraged her from applying for jobs in non-political entities outside the ex-president’s orbit.”You don’t need to apply anywhere else. We’ll take care of you. We want to keep you in the family,” he said , according to Ms. Hutchinson.
The Jan. 6 committee held a series of dramatic hearings over the summer, detailing Mr. Trump’s tireless efforts to nullify the 2020 election and disregard for the violence unfolding on Capitol Hill. The committee revealed that Mr Trump watched the chaos on television from the White House as the peaceful transition of power was shattered.
The committee report also said Mr. Trump wanted to join his supporters on Capitol Hill. In a dramatic moment during the committee’s public hearings, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson claimed Mr Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent in his presidential limo when he was told that he couldn’t get to the Capitol.
“The committee’s primary concern was that the president actually intended to personally participate in the Jan. 6 effort on Capitol Hill, leading the attempt to nullify the election either from inside the chamber of the House, from a stage outside the Capitol, or otherwise,” the members said. wrote in the summary of the report, which was published earlier this week.